Prize Roundup: Phoenicia SpeedUp Armadillo and Masten, SF Awards, ISS use, Water, HSF Committee and Commercial Space, ROBOMO, Q2C, 1 Tether Challenger

Countdown - Team Phoenicia:

We have been a little remiss is reporting our newest sponsors as of late. ... At any rate, new posts coming through!

New Sponsor: TechShop! - Team Phoenicia

8/12/2009: Burst Test, 350 psi - SpeedUp:

Two weekends ago we got out to do the burst test of the oxidizer tank. It burst on the side of the top dome section just above 350 psi, which is close to what we were expecting given the manufacturer’s original rating of 75psi operating pressure and 4x safety factor. ...

@wikkit - - New gear in progress on B, by Dread Pirate Vicegrip (@dmasten) and @drbobloblaw. - The new aluminum landing gear on XA-0.1B-750. Wider spread, and lighter weight.
Space tweeps, anyone want to see "Moon" 7:00PM showing @ ArcLight Hollywood on Sat.? (then dinner?) RT away!

Briefs: XCOR at Mojave Plane Crazy; Armadillo picts; WK2 log update - RLV News

Augustine meeting response - RLV News - There are a number of other posts there concerning the recent Augustine panel meeting, but I chose this one because it includes the following:

White House Review Committee Expresses Strong Support for Commercial Spaceflight - Commercial Spaceflight Federation (which includes the X PRIZE Foundation and several other organizations involved with prizes in one way or another)

Space Elevator Conference - First Morning - The Space Elevator Blog:

One note on the Strong Tether competition; there is only going to be one competitor this year, and yes, they have brought a carbon nanotube tether. It’s a new team, from Japan, from Shizuoka University. It will be very interesting to see what they have brought. Unfortunately (very unfortunately) the MIT/DeltaX team which competed in the last Tether competition will not be here this year. But we still will have a competition - the Japanese tether against the house tether.

ROBOMO at 2009 Missouri State Fair - ROBOMO, The St. Louis Area Robotics Group

Propose an InnoCentive Challenge and Help Change the World - Perspectives on Innovation (Innocentive):

In your opinion, what is the most pressing water-related problem affecting the developing world? If a Seeker had resources to devote, and wanted to use them specifically to solve a water-related issue in the developing world, what issue should they tackle?
Today we posted a Challenge asking just that.

ISS discussions - RLV News:

Ken Davidian is posting notes from the meeting at CSWiki (cswiki) on Twitter.

Here are a couple interesting tweats from that collection:

NASA doing what they can to provide easy, frequent, inexpensive, and return capabilities. ISS very flexible and can serve many clients.

Cost of transport needs to be supported, too. Down mass is another concern. Of 5 possible vehicles, most are 1-way tickets.

At one point, NASA Centennial Challenges was considering a Micro Reentry Vehicle Challenge (PDF) - see slide page 20. Perhaps a technology like this would help provide affordable and frequent return capabilities for space station work. The proposed Centennial Challenge took the rocket contest concept of safely landing and egg to the ultimate level: safely landing eggs from orbit. The rationale included:

•Routine ISS sample return despite constrained downmass
•Free-flying research platforms in between vomit comets and ISS
•Commercial biotech interest

I might add that it would also help chip away at the general problem of affordable and safe atmospheric reentry.

In the spirit of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, how about a 2nd level MRV prize for being able to reenter the atmosphere and land safely twice with the same vehicle!?

The Quantum to Cosmos (Q2C) festival (October 15-25, Waterloo, Ontario) includes speakers with connections to the world of space prizes like Robert Richards of Odyssey Moon, Peter Diamandis, and Michael Belfiore. It also includes other space speakers like Mike Griffin, Chris McKay, and Donna Shirley. Neal Stephenson, an SF author I recommend, is also on the schedule. That's just a sample of the many speakers.

Hugo Award Winners - Science Fiction Awards Watch: WALL-E wins "Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form".

Logo Contest Winner - The Hugo Awards

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